Cue the awws!
Ashton Kutcher accepted the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award at the Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines over the weekend, where he praised his wife Mila Kunis, their two children, and his family who helped shape him into the person he is today.
Starting off the emotional speech, the That ’70s Show alum joked that he was probably the first person to be considered a “role model” who had “a deferred judgment for a felony burglary for trying to break into his high school,” got “pulled over by a state trooper while tripping on mushrooms,” or had his “name splashed across every gossip magazine as an adulterer, like, five years ago.”
Ha, that’s fair!
The actor went on to honor his twin brother, Michael, who was born with cerebral palsy:
“I was born a twin and from the moment I came into this world I had to share it with someone. I shared every birthday, every Christmas, I shared my bedroom, I shared my clothes, I shared everything I had in this world and I didn’t know that there was another way because I always had my brother with me … My brother was born with cerebral palsy and it taught me that loving people isn’t a choice and that people aren’t actually all created equal. The Constitution lies to us. we’re not all created equal. We’re all created incredibly inequal to one another, in our capabilities and what we can do and how we think and what we see. But we all have the equal capacity to love one another, and my brother taught me that. When I got older, I spent years and years feeling bad about it, our inequalities He also taught me that he had gifts that I didn’t have. Extraordinary gifts that I didn’t have, and that every time I felt sorry for him in life, I made him less. He taught me that and he gave that to me.”
He told the audience about the definition of “character”:
“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you learn from the mistakes that you make and how you perceive the world that’s coming at you. Because life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. Every single time. And as long as you have love and kindness and optimism and a pursuit of something greater in your heart, you’re the lucky one. So this award is for you. It is for my family, it’s for all four of my parents, it’s for my wife, who kicks my ass on character every day.”
Referring to the Bad Moms actress who was sitting in the crowd, and their kiddos, daughter Wyatt, 2, and four-month-old son, Dimitri, Kutcher explained:
“I’m telling you, this morning, I woke up and she kicked my ass on character. I thought I was awesome because I got up early and helped with the kids before she woke up and I let her sleep a little bit and then she’s like, ‘Well, now you’re gonna act tired? I do it every day.’ But it was a character moment, right? Because she’s right!”
“When I had these kids, my wife and I had these kids and we got to share that amazing, amazing, amazing honor, my first response was, I wanted to call my parents and say, ‘I’m sorry, because I never knew how much you loved me.'”
We’re not crying, you’re crying!
Going back to those “adulterer” claims, Ashton clapped back at all the people who said he cheated on his then-wife Demi Moore, saying:
“Character comes out when those magazines tear you apart for something you may or may not have done and you gotta go out and perform tomorrow, with everyone looking at you like you might be an adulterer.”
But at the end of the day, the 39-year-old is thankful for his failed relationship with the Striptease star:
“I had the great fortune of getting a divorce because I felt the impact of it and how much loss is in there and how much love is in there and that its not neat or clean or messy. And I understood finally my parents’ divorce in a whole different way.”
We love his honesty!
Watch the full 16-minute acceptance speech (below)!!